Lots of Primary Futures development to look forward in 2017!

With the arrival of a new year it’s interesting to look back and reflect on Primary Futures progress and developments in 2016. We now have over 33,000 volunteers available to primary schools across England, Wales and NI and over 10,000 teachers signed up with in excess of 150,000 messages sent using our online system. Over 3000 primary schools have already joined us and are seeing the benefits of working with volunteers in their localities to help raise the children’s aspirations and demonstrate the so important links between the children’s learning in primary schools and future opportunities. Primary Futures was designed by teachers for teachers!

pfJust in case you still don’t know what Primary Futures is all about the following link to our website should help! http://www.inspiringthefuture.org/primary-futures/

We work with schools across England, Wales and NI and already have a number of events and activities in the pipeline this year. These  include a major authority wide ‘Aspirations Week’ in Blackpool, a series of key events in Wales, developments in Bolton, Bradford, North Lincolnshire and across Yorkshire to name but a few! It’s worth noting that many schools who join us set up their own events without any direct input from the Primary Futures team using the volunteer database, which is at the heart of the project.

If your school hasn’t yet registered the process is quick, easy and free!

Once you have registered you have direct access to a growing number of volunteers via our database. It’s up to individual schools to plan events with their volunteers contacting them via the inbuilt messaging system supported as appropriate by the Primary Futures team and the Education and Employers charity team based in London. Primary Futures is and will always remain a school led project. We recognise no two schools are alike which is why we provide ideas, suggestions and advice which schools adapt to meet the needs of their schools and communities. We offer telephone support and guidance and are keen to help set up high profile activities which go very well when we introduce Primary Futures to a new locality. Visits from team members can also sometimes by accommodated.

So how might you use Primary Futures?

There are many ways to skin the proverbial cat! Some schools like the volunteers to work with small groups of children across all age ranges whilst some prefer to work on a class, whole year or school basis. It really is up to you. Some have a specific focus linked perhaps to ‘gender busting’ or a local or national event such as National Science Week. Will it be a one off or a series of events? A growing number of schools are now linking the support of volunteers to their curriculum across the school year to enhance the children’s learning. The following link takes you to some curriculum ideas put together for us by a group of teachers http://www.inspiringthefuture.org/primary-futures/for-teachers/

We recently received the following quote from teacher in the north west who had contacted a scientist via the database …………………….
‘Just wanted to let you know how great the scientist was that I sorted out through the primary futures website. He was fantastic with the class (and I also have to say I was so proud of how the children behaved and responded during the session too). He was well prepared, used some great resources and it was so interesting for all the children regardless of ability! They were buzzing afterwards and had so many questions about his work and how to be like him!’

The bottom line is clear …………………… we provide access to the volunteer database then you decide what’s best for your school. If you can’t find the volunteers you are looking for we will always do our best to help. As more schools become actively engaged we need more volunteers to join us of course which we are currently working on. If you know local people, friends and family why not encourage them to volunteer? There’s more information on the website in the resources section.

Blogs and photos of your activities are always most welcome so we can share the great work going on via Twitter (@PrimaryFutures) and this blog. Finally ………….the following link takes you to an article published last year in the ‘Headteacher Update’ magazine about Primary Futures. It provides more information and some additional links you might find useful http://www.headteacher-update.com/resources-article/careers-advice-in-primary-schools/116210/

2017 is indeed the year of Primary Futures! Time to join us?


By Steve Iredale